Readers Continue To Download The Plant

Posted on July 31, 2000

Readers are continuing to download and pay for The Plant, bestselling author Stephen King's latest ebook venture. Current numbers for the electronic serial novel stand at 152,132 downloads with over 116,200 paying up front by credit card. Readers had an option of paying the $1 payment by credit card through online retailer or mailing in their payment. Over 76 percent have paid up front and Stephen King says that the mail-in payments are already showing up. Over 23,000 readers have promised to pay later, but King has already broken his pre-launch target of 75% paid. As King states, "The pay-through rate has been higher than I dared hope."

On his latest website announcement King also mentions the initial costs for the ebook test. He lists the costs at $124,150 for print ads in Publishers Weekly and USA Today plus server costs, publicity costs and project management costs. King may also have additional web technology costs to add in, but it appears he is closing in on the break-even point for the ebook venture already. The ebook also still has several more installments ahead of it to bring in additional revenue.

Downloading the plant was much less difficult than the complicated and often backlogged downloads for Riding the Bullet. With Riding the Bullet customers had problems downloading the single large, encrypted file. This time, King eliminated the encryption and created a smaller file size.

"We're accustomed to shipping five to 100 Mb files routinely from our customers to their users and Mr. King's team figured out how to do it in a small and tight package so that it had almost no impact on our backbone," said Antonio Salerno, CEO of Conxion Corporation, the Internet Infrastructure provider contracted by Radiant Ideas, King's Internet gurus

With the success of the downloads and a high percentage of readers proving themselves to be honest, King will continue writing the novel and says he is hard at work on future installments. The next installment will be available on August 21st and the third download will be made available in September.